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The Jewel of Seven Stars


grasshopper
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After enjoying a mini-group read of Dracula here on BGO I saw this Bram Stoker book described as ‘The Mother of all Mummy Stories’ and thought it worth trying. It turned out to be strange and rather hard going.

 

An Egyptologist raids the tomb of an ancient Egyptian Queen, Tera, who may have reigned as a man and a woman and possibly practised black magic.  He brings most of the contents including the Mummy, a mummified cat and a fabulous jewel back to England and has them arrayed around his bedroom.  He leaves a list of instructions to be carried out, in the event of anything happening to him.  Naturally, something does happen to him and it is up to his daughter, her young barrister admirer, father’s old friend and the local doctor to sort things out. Cast list sound familiar, Victorian novel readers?

 

The story is told in first person narrative by the barrister.  The other characters are not really described in any depth and it takes a long time to reach any action. First,  the tale of the Egyptian adventures are trawled through, later  we are lectured on hieroglyphics, which without illustration is impossible to comprehend, and a strange theory about different light is expounded.

 

The version I read had a vaguely disturbing ending so I looked for more information and discovered that Bram Stoker had originally written a different ending and had been asked to change it later by the publishers so I read the original version as well.

 

 

Original ending Mummy disappears in dust but everyone except young barrister is left dead or mad, not sure which.

Revised because publishers wanted happy ending – everyone lives except Mummy who disappears in dust. Happy wedding where bride wears Mummy’s wedding dress and jewellery – hmm has Bram cheated and Mummy quietly taken over bride ?

 

 

I wouldn’t recommend buying it, but both versions are available here free.

 

Note to mods - this was published in 1903 but may fit better in pre-1900 where Dracula is discussed. Please change if necessary.
 

Edited by grasshopper
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Saw this thread having read Dracula last year and thought that I might give this one a go. Having read your post Grasshopper I am not sure that I will bother as it sounds a bit of a slog for little return! I have never heard of the book and having read your post I suspect that your description of the book may explain why.

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Saw this thread having read Dracula last year and thought that I might give this one a go. Having read your post Grasshopper I am not sure that I will bother as it sounds a bit of a slog for little return! I have never heard of the book and having read your post I suspect that your description of the book may explain why.

 

cp,  it may appeal to others, and don't let me put you off having a look, especially as it is free online, but it just seemed such a let down after Dracula which we all enjoyed.  When Ting attacks her online TBR she may have a completely different reaction to the book. :)

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